Are You Harnessing the Right Customer Data?

July 22, 2015

In the worthy and important pursuit of understanding your customer, it can be tempting to collect more, more, more. If you can gather data from every channel and every touchpoint, should you?

The answer: Not necessarily. The important thing is to gather the right data, which in many cases means your own first-party data. Our research with Econsultancy found that the highest-performing data-driven marketers were using first-party data at a higher rate than other marketers.

The array of possible data points available to marketers is so vast that it can be hard to discern which pieces of information are more important than others. Zeroing in on the right data is the cure for data overload.

How to Identify the Right Data to Collect

What qualifies as the right stuff depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Here’s how to make a plan to get what you need:

  1. Focus on your KPIs. Reporting on too much data is overwhelming and can bury the insights you need. Home in on the specific types of data points that actually indicate success for your brand. Whether you’re measuring brand lift, conversion rates, or sales, build your data framework around your key performance indicators (KPIs) and focus on those.
  1. Explore the full range of data available to your brand. Many brands are already harnessing data from key channels like web, mobile, email, and ads. That’s a great start, but don’t forget the valuable offline data that exists in your CRM or point-of-sale system and call center. These kinds of data typically exist in silos, so you need a plan for merging fragmented information scattered across all the channels where you interact with customers. Learn about the data sources that are coming next: beacons, addressable TV and the Internet of Things.  Technology is making exciting use cases possible—be ready to take advantage.
  1. Connect your channels and resolve identity. Make sure you have the ability to recognize and understand customers at every touchpoint, across channels and devices. When you look at all of your channels with a holistic view, you’re able to see how the performance of each individual channel impacts the ultimate customer outcome. Create deep, rich cross-channel profiles in order to fuel your personalization, targeting efforts.
  1. Act in real time. If you’re capturing live intent data, you’re at a great advantage. The window of opportunity between the moment when a customer signals intent and when they click ‘buy’ is brief—so make sure you capture this data, so you can activate on these clear and valuable signals. Creating experiences that align with what consumers are looking for in real time just may be the marketer’s most powerful weapon for increasing engagement and conversions and improving the path-to-purchase dynamic.
  1. Get the basics right, then keep building. When you leverage what you know about your customers’ behaviors and attributes, you are able to create dynamic customer activation use cases that personalize the customer experience. Start by configuring the behaviors and attributes that are most relevant to your products. Once you feel comfortable with the basics, you can get as granular and specific as you’d like as you build your system to automatically deliver the right message in the right place at the right time.

 Make Your Data Work for You

Getting more value out of your data begins by establishing your marketing goals. These goals will guide you as you choose the types of data you need to harness and leverage. As your goals shift or grow more ambitious, update your data strategy to reflect these new priorities. If you’re not sure where to begin, chat with one of our solutions consultants. We’ll help you stay on track and make sure you’re using the data you need to knock all your KPIs out of the park.


Caitlin Yacu was formerly Product Marketing Manager at Signal.

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